4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 2

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ben McAdoo
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ben McAdoo /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Is Matt Rhule holding the Carolina Panthers back?

Is the slow start we saw from the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 indicative of the coaching staff mainly the head coach, or can we put it down to first-week rustiness? – Luke Gray

Thank you, Luke, for your question! I’m going to lean toward first-week rustiness. But some of the blame for the slow start can be directed at Matt Rhule and the coaching staff.

This is the first full game where every single starter played together. Somewhere, there is going to be a lack of continuity.

Ben McAdoo’s offense didn’t settle until just before half-time with the argument that it finally got going in the fourth quarter. Phil Snow’s defense struggled against a good Cleveland Browns rushing attack but finally got to grips with this in later in the game.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see I’ve mentioned plenty of times on my timeline that it is the first week of the season. Was the loss to Cleveland frustrating? No doubt about it. Does the season end after the first week? No.

There is a lot of time left for the Carolina Panthers to get things together on both sides of the ball before the schedule gets tougher this season.

Rhule is on the hot seat in 2022. I do feel like the late in-game management from him was better Sunday than it had in seasons past, even if he probably should have pushed McAdoo during the game to lean on the ground game more with Christian McCaffrey and D’Onta Foreman.

I’m going against the grain here, but Rhule’s performance as a coach Sunday wasn’t awful.

We’ll see what happens next week against the New York Giants. While I do have concerns, I’m willing to give it another week for both the offense and defense to truly mesh together as a unit.

There are too many talented players on either side for me to say this team is doomed for another terrible year.